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and reconstruction in afghanistan. the great majority of which has been channeled through private contractors. we know from experience in bosnia in the 1990's and more recently in iraq that a reduction in troop levels as not mean a drop in contractor activity. in some cases, it is a matter of increase. there has been increase reliance on contractors to fulfill the logistical roles once performed by the military in those instances. eventually, the contractor presence will also decrease as we move support of large-scale off-budget scanned it -- spending to more direct to the afghan government directly. this is why our reconstruction strategy must focus on insuring that afghans can sustain what we have helped build. how many additional schools and health, as we can construct, but also that there are teachers and health care officials to sustain those institutions. whether afghans have the resources and expertise to manage the long-term operation and maintenance of power plants. on a related note, as we encourage more contracting with local afghan firms under the afghan first policy, we must consider
down the cost of our military efforts in afghanistan and iraq. last year we spent a little over $150 billion. this year we'll spend a little over $100 billion. and the plan is to soon be down to at least $50 billion in two or three years. so over the ten-year period there'll be about eight years at nearly $50 billion or so spent on the war instead of $150 billion. that's part of thelan that we've been operating on for a long time. $150 billion for the w is not baseline expenditure of the united states. it was never projected to continue at that level, so hopefully we could bring it below $50 billion. maybe we went get to $50 billion. i don't know. but what is the reasonable estimate? i think the house republicans and the president said it would drop to $50 billion, and that would be the baseline out there for the rest of the time. that's $1 trillion. that's $1 trillion. so you take $1 trillion out of the $2.7 trillion, you're down to $1.7 trlion. and another thing that's scored in tt, since that $1 trillion in war costs is scored the way mr. reid scored that, which is phantom money,
is going to count winding down the war in afghanistan as a substantial part of the savings. that could be worth about $1 trillion over 10 years. meanwhile, john boehner is working on his own deficit- reduction debt limit increase plan. he would take -- that plan would be affected in two stages. the first would be $900 trillion or so deficit reduction package, spending cuts, paired with roughly equal amount in debt limit increase. then he would empower a special committee to find an additional $1.60 trillion to authorize or trigger another increase in the debt ceiling. the problem with this proposal, however, it would require raising the debt ceiling by the requisite $2.40 trillion amount into the stages. that is something the president and democratic leaders after yesterday's said is a nonstarter. they say it would create too much uncertainty for the marketplace and the economy if this process had to be replaced at the beginning of next year or summer of next year. >> the house republicans made their own at last it with a cap and balance plan that did not make it to the senate. the pre
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